Week-long flooding, landslides and mudslides in parts of Iran have left at least 80 people dead, scores missing and hundreds of homes in ruins.
More than 600 cities, towns and villages in 18 of Iran’s 31 provinces have been affected over the past seven days, beginning with flash floods in Fars province last Saturday.
Friday’s worst-hit area was Firouz Kooh in the foothills of Alborz Mountains, northeast of Tehran, where at least 14 people are known to have died after a landslide on Thursday night.
Images and videos shared both by Iranian media outlets and on social media show houses and cars swamped in gray mud and people trying to recover their belongings amid the deluge.
Some of Iran’s most deprived provinces have also been affected, including Sistan and Baluchistan, Bushehr and Hormozgan. Rescue teams have been deployed across the country and hundreds of people in affected areas have been evacuated.
Tens of thousands of animals and livestock have also perished, according to officials. Agriculture Minister Javad Sadatinejad has told the IRIB that his sector alone is thought to have suffered 60 trillion rials’ (about $200 million) worth of damage in a matter of days.
The authorities have warned more rains could be on the way in the southern and northern provinces. Iran has experienced severe anthropogenic drought for many years now but is also vulnerable to sudden floods which could be exacerbated by climate change.